Rethinking Old Issues
Change agents. Liberalism. Going beyond the New Testament. Making the church into a denomination. We hear talk about those topics all the time, don’t we? Going right along with them we read and hear of churches of Christ involved in every kind of flagrant apostasy. In many ways it is a troubling time. What is going to happen to churches of Christ all across the country?
It is the belief of many that before much longer there will be two kinds of churches of Christ: very liberal and carefully conservative. Brethren who are currently in neither “place” in their thinking are going to be faced with some hard choices. Do they join the tide of change or step to the right and worship with brethren who may think a little more conservatively than they do?
This issue of Abundant Life is an open invitation to a move to the right. It comes to you from conservatively minded brethren who believe the problems of today are a direct result of bad decisions made in the 1950’s and 1960’s. There really are brethren who think some commonly accepted practices, like the sponsoring church arrangement and potlucks in the church building, need to be re-examined and re-thought. We believe that some of those practices and a lack of teaching on Bible authority have led to the apostasy so evident today. Further, we are sure that a return to New Testament Christianity doesn’t just mean that some need to stop having fellowship with local denominations, but that we should see exactly what the New Testament church did and go all the way back to doing just that. In other words, any innovation or unauthorized practice, no matter how small, must go. Is it possible such practices are a part of the group where you now worship?
As you read this issue you should know several things. First, we don’t intend to make anyone angry, though doubtless we will. For some, anything those “anti’s” say is automatically wrong, and they will hear nothing different. To such folks we have little to say (and less they will hear). We hope that most of our readers will be interested in examining their faith rigorously no matter from whence the challenge comes. Secondly, we want you to know that you are reading the work of young men. These authors are in their thirties or less (except for Allen and Rusty, who are just cresting 40!). If you worship in one of these middle-of-the-road congregations ask yourself when was the last time you saw ten young men who still preach and teach the truth? In the main, the youth of middle-of-the-road churches have gone to the very liberal groups. That is why some day there will be no middle group, and that is why you need to think seriously about these issues now. Changes are coming, like it or not. Will you change and be true to the New Testament pattern for Christianity or will Special you drown in the flood of apostasy engulfing so many? Study with us!